Located in the Bronx, New York, City Island is a small island, approximately one mile long and a quarter mile wide. City Island is surrounded by Eastchester Bay on one side and Long Island Sound on the other. Its bridge attaches to a roadway adjacent to Pelham Bay Park, New York City's largest park. In this area, and in the waters and wetlands, in and around City Island, many bird species thrive. Here, several and varied migratory birds are found. This website was created to help study, appreciate, and protect all the birds of this area.

Save Forests and Save Birds

Ancient Boreal forests are being cut down for 
Toilet Tissue, Paper Towels and Catalogs!

SHOP SMART- SAVE BIRDShttp://www.nrdc.org/land/forests/gtissue.asphttp://www.nrdc.org/land/forests/gtissue.aspshapeimage_5_link_0shapeimage_5_link_1
City Island Birds
Since 2007

Birding Advocacy

Welcome to City Island Birds. I created this website because this area of New York City is little known and underutilized by birdwatchers and other nature lovers. Pelham Bay Park, with its woods and wetlands is a critical stopover and nesting area to many migratory species.

Photos and Results of Our Past Walks
2007- 2010

Winter Bird Walk- January 9
First Spring Walk- April 17
Easter Walk- April 24
Split Rock-Mother’s Day Walk- May 7 
Turtle Cove “Watch”- June 26
Raptor and Waterfowl Walk- Nov. 27
Owl Walk- March 24
Owlet Walk April 15, 2012
Spring “Migration Madness” Walk- May 6
Clapper Rail Walk- May 27   
Fall Migration Walk- Sept. 23, 2012
Migration Walk- October 14, 2012
Last Minute Barred Owl Walk- Dec. 9, 2012
Bronx Brooklyn Walk- January 12
Spring Migration Walk- May 5
Three Club Walk-  August 24
Fall Migration Walk 2013
Owlet Walk- April 13
Spring Migration Walk -May 10
Fall Migration Walk-October 12
After Thanksgiving Walk- Nov. 20Previous_Birdwalks.htmlWinter_Bird_Walk.htmlEarly_Spring_Migration_Walk.htmlEaster_Walk.htmlSplit_Rock-_Mothers_Day_Walk.htmlTurtle_Cove_%22Watch%22.htmlRaptor_and_Waterfowl_Walk.htmlOwl_Walk.htmlOwlet_Walk.htmlMigration_Madness.htmlClapper_Rail_walk.htmlFall_Migration_Walk.htmlFall_Migration_2012.htmlbarred_Owl_Walk.htmlBronx_Brooklyn_Walk.htmlSpring_Migration_2013.htmlThree_Club_Walk.htmlFall_Migration_2013.htmlOwlet_Walk_2014.htmlSpring_Migration_2014.htmlFall_Migration_2014.htmlAfter-Thanksgiving.htmlshapeimage_8_link_0shapeimage_8_link_1shapeimage_8_link_2shapeimage_8_link_3shapeimage_8_link_4shapeimage_8_link_5shapeimage_8_link_6shapeimage_8_link_7shapeimage_8_link_8shapeimage_8_link_9shapeimage_8_link_10shapeimage_8_link_11shapeimage_8_link_12shapeimage_8_link_13shapeimage_8_link_14shapeimage_8_link_15shapeimage_8_link_16shapeimage_8_link_17shapeimage_8_link_18shapeimage_8_link_19shapeimage_8_link_20shapeimage_8_link_21


Barnacle Goose at Orchard Beach

Jack Rothman


Traveling and Birding the Amazon

Several people have requested information about our trip to the Amazon.

Birding Interest- Past Articles

Important and Useful

The Wild Bird Fund   (Animal Rehabber)

New York Tide Chart

Urban Park Rangers

NY State Parks

Birdcast (Migration Reports)


City Island?http://forgotten-ny.com/2000/05/city-island/
Pelham Bay Park Maphttp://www.nycgovparks.org/sub_your_park/vt_pelham_bay_park/images/Pelham%20map-rev2005.pdf
City Island Communityhttp://www.cityisland.com
Directions Herehttp://www.cityisland.com/directions.html
City Island Birding ClubCIB_Club.html

Eastern Towhees are due back April 1-10. The female is on the right, male left. We’ll soon hear the male calling throughout the park.

We’ve seen our first Eastern Phoebes in the park. They are our early arriving migrants. I took this photo last April on Hunter Island.

Binocular and Smartphone Help

If you’re not familiar with how your computer or smartphone can help you be a better and more successful birder, you should read my little primer, link here.

If you need or want a new pair of binoculars, you might want to begin here. Binoculars have really changed in the last few years. You can get a fantastic pair for a few hundred dollars and a really good pair for less than $200. Years ago, there wasn’t nearly as much choice. You should link here for ratings.

The Kazimiroff Nature Trail of Hunter Island
You may have noticed the new signs posted along the paths on Hunter island. The numbers correlate to different features of the “Island.” If you link below, you can find out what each sign post means. Dr. Kazimiroff was a noted Bronx naturalist. The trail marked in his honor winds through the largest and most natural of all of NYC parks. This area was once hunting and fishing grounds and the site of huge mansions. To find out more, print and bring the guide with you on your next walk. Kazimiroff Trail.pdf


Ruby-crowned Kinglets are due back in mid-April. This photo was taken April 22, so we’ll be seeing them soon.

Ducks Prevail, Few Passerines Now- But Birds are Coming!

Passerines seemed scarce on Saturday. However, there was a sign of Spring with the arrival of an Eastern Phoebe. Osprey are back so maybe Spring is coming after all. It was still cold and there were snow showers as we walked around Hunter Island. Standing on the lookout, we had some nice ducks. There were Common Goldeneye, Northern Shovelers, Bufflehead, Mallard, American Black Duck, Greater Scaup, Red-breasted Mergansers, American Wigeon, Gadwall and Green-winged Teal. The ducks were displaying and it was fun to watch, even in the really cold wind. Trails are clear but with muddy spots. Our resident Great Horned Owl has not re-nested after abandoning her nest about a month ago. March is always a difficult time for birding. Everyone is anticipating the migration and there’s little to see until it occurs. With the weather still being cold, we might have to wait a little longer.

Photos below are birds we can expect for April.

Another early arrival is the Palm Warbler.

Clapper Rails are also due to return in mid-April. We can find these secretive birds at Turtle Cove.


Another mid-April arrival is the Green Heron. They are not all that common here but I’ve seen them down at Turtle Cove.

All photos and text by Jack Rothman
All rights reserved. No photo may be copied or duplicated without written permission.

Copyright 2015
Updated 4/1/15

What we dread is this Mile-a Minute invasive species that covers everything. It’s being seen in the park in several areas. It’s tough to eradicate, especially when there are berries. I’m hoping the Parks Department will be more conscientious in getting rid of this.


This is the time of the year when American Woodcock do their funny dance. They’re really hard to find because of their camouflage.  If you get to birding around dusk, you might here them calling and dancing. Watch them dance here.

Early Spring Walk to Look for Migratory Species
April 12, 2015  
Hunter Island, Pelham Bay Park
8:00 AM- Noon 
Dependent on Weather- Details to Follow.